Every morning, at 6:15 AM, my husband’s alarm clock goes off, jarring each of us from our dreams. Bleary-eyed, we moan, sit up, Hubby falls out of bed and turns the alarm off, and then we both go back to sleep. That’s our routine. We like it.
All summer long, we did this same thing every morning. Hubby would stay in bed until the very last minute, before jumping up and rushing to get ready for work. I spent the rest of this frantic scene with the thick wine-colored comforter pulled over my tousled curls, blocking out the sounds of being awake and productive. Eventually, several hours after Hubby left for work, I would get up and get around to the business of being a mom.
Last week, there was a change in the morning script. Hubby’s part stayed the same but I was given different stage directions: I started getting up.
Now at 6:30, after 15 minutes of precious post-alarm sleep, I get up and blindly dress. What I put on never matches but it never matters — I’m going to walk/jog/dream about running around the neighborhood.
This past Wednesday, my few mornings of playing the new active Rachel were put to the test. I opened our front door and found puddles in the streets, glossy grass, and dripping skies. It was raining.
“Ooooo,” I thought, almost gleefully, “This means I can go back to bed!!!!” Sleep is always at the top of my to-do list, no matter what the occasion.
I turned back and shut our door. Hubby was prostrate on the couch, letting himself be distracted from thoughts of work by watching the local news. “It’s raining!” I said the words in my best attempt at being pathetic and forlorn. I waited for him to agree that walking in the rain wasn’t a good idea.
“This is where the real test comes,” he tauntingly proclaimed, letting his eyes momentarily leave the TV screen. He looked at me, challenging me.
Well, darn. Now I HAD to go out — I couldn’t let him see me give up, not even for a day. With false determination, I popped my Ipod speakers into my ears and walked out the door to the sound of Chaka Khan singing “I’m Every Woman.”
My first time to walk in the rain. The downpour had subsided into a very light, steady rain, but everything was still very wet. Tiny rivers were furiously flowing, currents heading downstream to the sewers.
I walked. It was a slow journey as I put one foot carefully in front of the other — I wanted to avoid adding another fall to my “clumsy moment” record. I walked through puddles, through mud that had flowed like lava onto the sidewalks, and even through some dog poo. I blame my shoes for that misstep — they should have been watching where they were taking me.
On the last leg of my journey, I had to walk underneath a giant crepe myrtle –its heavy, wet branches bending over to kiss the soggy ground. Also bent over, I shuffled under the pink laden boughs, attracting some of the tiny Pepto-pink petals. They left their home and joined me, resting on my the back of my neck, as I continued my quest to prove I was truly committed.
Later, as the opening strains of “Sweet Home Alabama” rocked my Ipod, the petals and I approached my house. I opened the door and walked across the threshold, ready to show my husband it had been a piece of cake.